Our Market Profiles
We anticipate many of you are wondering how we researched and curated these market profiles. Startup investing analytics is a new field, and what exists for the public equities markets doesn’t readily translate here. We’re charting new territory, and to be sure, it’s a tremendous undertaking that requires great focus and attention to detail.
Through our research and market profiles, we hope to understand and convey each market from the perspective of a potential investor. We try to add context to each detail we mention, in order to help you understand why a certain fact or entity is important. Our ultimate goal is not only to be thorough, but to be objective. We want you to decide how to interpret each market according to your own priorities and investment strategies. We hope what you discover sparks your interest, your excitement, and your desire to get involved.
In order to help you understand the how and why of our research, we’ve put together this post explaining our market profiles.
- Summary: This is the Startup Angels roll-up assessment of the overall market.
- Major businesses in this market: Large companies with significant presence in a market (often headquartered). These companies provide talent, signify industry strengths, can be potential customers and a source for M&A activity, and in some cases are major supporters of the startup ecosystem.
- Risks and opportunities: Several points on strengths, weaknesses, and other aspects you should be aware of.
- Market Indicators: We use three metrics as indicators of a market’s capacity to build a thriving startup community and sustainable technology businesses. These include Size of the Population (which impacts the size of the local market and talent), Number of Annual Startup Events (indicates momentum as well as opportunities to collaborate and learn), and the Average Cost of a Developer Hour. These metrics are far from perfect, but they offer one view of the cost of ’starting-up’ and ‘momentum’ in a community. We’ll continue to revise and refine them over time.
- Startup Success Stories: A taste of startup activity in the market, this section highlights key startups you should know about that may have IPO’d, been acquired, or are anticipated winners-to-be. We choose stories that are more recent — generally in the last year or two. So while a market may have had a legendary IPO a decade ago, we think it’s more important to talk about today.
- Key Players: A list of key influencers you should know about // connect with in order to explore a market in greater depth. While most markets have many more key players than we show, for the sake of a clean interface and a friendly experience we’ve limited this number to 10 and have tried to select a mixture of perspectives (investors, community leaders, accelerators, etc). Trust us, it was tough to choose and we apologize to those we left off. We’ll do our best to keep this list current as folks relocate and new influencers arise. Of course, if you’d like to make the case for a key player you think we neglected, reach out to us here.
- Timeline: Designed to give you perspective on the history and trajectory of a market, we highlight some of the pivotal moments for each startup community.
Our research is an amalgamation of dozens of resources. For each market, we look at data, articles and resources developed by: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; the Kauffman Foundation; Startup Genome; World Startup Wiki; F6S; AngelList; Startup Grind; CBInsights; Mattermark; Disruption Corp; UP Global; and various VC and angel groups like 500 Startups, LAVCA, and ACA/ARI. We’re constantly evolving and refining as we discover new resources. Got one we might not know about? Tell us here.
We also review a tremendous number of articles from local blogs and regional media outlets, from entrepreneurs and investors that blog about particular markets, and from presentations created by various community leaders.
Lastly — for each market, we conduct multiple and ongoing interviews with experts on that startup community in order to cross-reference our own research, help us curate, and fill in any gaps. We speak with folks with a variety of backgrounds — from angel investors to VCs, from notable founders to community leaders. Each has his/her own perspective that we gather and distill into our understanding of the ‘collective reality’, and display for you on our market profiles. We’d love to speak with you about your community if you have some time.
We started with a list of over 50 metrics a potential investor might want to know, and culled it down to about a dozen. We quickly realized that quality data, for the most part, does not exist on a global scale. It’s just not measured or it’s still too early and lacks reliability. We have high hopes for up and coming tools like Mattermark and Startup Genome. But for the purposes of comparing worldwide markets today, there’s no data “silver bullet”.
We also realized that a lot of us don’t really know what to do with particular numbers, and that qualitative research and analysis is often much more valuable. Numbers like “total investments last year” and “number of VC funds located in this market” can be interesting, but only tell a small portion of the market’s overall story and opportunity.
Finally, many existing metrics and research sources focus on transactions: funding and exits. That narrative is driven by Sand Hill Road and Wall Street but it doesn’t reflect the reality of building businesses in most markets of the world … or for that matter the United States. So we’re developing an analytical framework that views startups holistically, in the context of the communities where they operate, in order to truly understand and measure success.
Of course, as data resources improve and become more thorough, we will adjust and revise our Market Profiles accordingly.
How will we keep profiles current?
This is a great question and we’re open to suggestions. We’re building tools that will help us monitor developments in each market, and we’re establishing a process for our team to periodically review and update each market. If for any reason you think something is outdated or incorrect, please let us know.
We’re also considering ways to crowdsource some of this research and partner with other organizations and groups who are collecting data. If you’d like to help us, just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Improving Market Profiles” in the subject line. We’d love to chat.